Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Terry Ray, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Your eCommerce Shoppers Are Going Global. Are You Ready? | @CloudExpo #Cloud

It's hard to get away from the fact that eCommerce is a large and growing force in our economy

You may want to ask yourself if you really have a good understanding of where your customers are shopping. Digital marketers are known to cuddle up with Google Analytics as they crawl into bed at night just to explore these trends. Are you doing the same? Because as more of your customers visit you from other parts of the world, you'll have to do a little bit more to make sure they all have a great experience on your site.

Here's a mind-blowing statistic for you: Take all the stores and retail outlets in the world - basically anywhere someone can buy something. Then, add up all the money that those stores earn collectively. How much of that do you think came in over the Internet?

This year, it's expected that 7.3% of all that money was from online sales. And in just a few years, that number will be 12.4%.

Think about that - about one out of every 10 dollars (or euros, or yen...) that consumers will spend over the next few years will be spent online. And this money is being spent by about 40% of worldwide Internet users, which means more than one billion online shoppers. That makes a crowded Black Friday at Walmart seem like nothing.

It's hard to get away from the fact that eCommerce is a large and growing force in our economy - not just here in the U.S., but around the world.

A Worldwide Boom
As you unpack the numbers, they reveal some interesting trends about eCommerce in different parts of the world. For example, this year it's expected that overall, eCommerce will grow by 25%. However, that's happening at different rates in different regions of the globe. In Asia-Pacific, where it's growing the fastest, the growth rate for eCommerce is projected to be a staggering 35.2%, while in North America the growth rate will only be 14.3%.

Of course, a newer market is going to grow faster than a more mature market. So it's interesting to look at growth alongside online sales projections overall:

  • China: $672.01 billion (42.1%)
  • U.S.: $349.06 billion (14.2%)
  • U.K.: $99.39 billion (14.5%)
  • Japan: $89.55 billion (14.0%)
  • Germany: $61.84 billion (12.0%)
  • France: $42.60 billion (11.1%)
  • South Korea: $38.86 billion (11.0%)
  • Canada: $26.83 billion (16.8%)
  • Brazil: $19.79 billion (17.3%)
  • Australia: $19.02 billion (9.3%)

Now, some of these countries have a larger population than others, so of course that's going to factor into how much is being spent. When you look at how much is being spent by each shopperon average, you see that growth may be slower in the U.S., but volume is not. Consumers in the U.S. are starting to spend big on the Internet. As the market matures over time, people become more comfortable with larger purchases.

So what does this all mean for you? What about your site?

You may want to ask yourself if you really have a good understanding of where your customers are shopping. Digital marketers are known to cuddle up with Google Analytics as they crawl into bed at night just to explore these trends. Are you doing the same? Because as more of your customers visit you from other parts of the world, you'll have to do a little bit more to make sure they all have a great experience on your site.

If Your Site Sucks, Shoppers Leave - at Home or on the Go
If consumers start shopping on a site or exploring content and the page doesn't load quickly enough, they give up. They find somewhere else to buy the thing they wanted to buy.

You are a consumer. You know you've done this too.

It's as easy as re-typing a search term again, but this time you click the second link that Google sends your way. In fact, 60% of web users leave a website and go to a competitor's site if it takes more than five seconds to load the page. And 88% of web users won't come back to that site if they assume it'll be slow.

Of course it's not just the web. These days, 85% of web users expect that a page will load just as fast on their mobile device as it does on a computer. That expectation is really important because mobile devices aren't just the exception anymore, especially over the holidays (which are coming up fast). People travel; they use their phones to place orders so that gifts are ready when they get home. They shop on their devices while they are shopping in stores. The mobile device matters - it directly impacts revenue.

Just because you know your site is zippy in Toledo doesn't mean that your users in Quebec City, Frankfurt, or Singapore see the same thing. There is a lot of variation around the world between datacenters, carrier networks, and general Internet infrastructure.

Geo-Realism from the Cloud
Geo-realism means adapting your load testing and performance monitoring so that it mimics the user experience from different regions around the world. You shouldn't be doing all your load testing from server banks in the room next to your application's datacenter. You shouldn't even be running them from the next town over.

The best way to ensure that your load tests are geo-realistic is by using the cloud.

The cloud isn't for everything of course. As your team builds the app, you will naturally develop a suite of load testing scenarios for core testing that you run from an easily controlled location. You conduct unit tests with these, get rid of bottlenecks, and assess baseline performance of your app at the component. But at some point you need real system tests.

That's when you string together those components into a number of realistic scenarios. For example:

  • User logs in, browses through items, selects an item, checks out.
  • User logs in, confirms tracking information for a recent order
  • User logs in, finds a recent order, prints a return ticket

You package these scenarios up and push them out to load generators in the cloud. You'll want these generators distributed around the world in a variety of different locations and datacenters. The cloud lets you scale this infrastructure up and down as needed without having to configure new machines and network devices. That's the beauty of the cloud - you quickly get worldwide scale for your scenarios.

Using the cloud, you run your tests and gather your metrics. You can study these results to see how behavior differs throughout the world. This may lead you to reconfigure how you do load balancing, modify your caching capabilities, or potentially deploy entirely new supplementary datacenters. The point is: you now know how users around the world are interacting with your site.

It doesn't stop there.

You can also conduct synthetic user monitoring from the cloud. This is an activity that's managed in Operations as part of the ongoing performance management effort. You take the same transactions that were run by your distributed load generators and re-use them as live performance tests. Synthetic users are created around the world, executing these tests regularly using the cloud. They run against your production app while it's in use, and they measure the site experience that users are actually exposed to. You can feed those metrics back to Operations and to Testing, giving you a steady stream of data that doesn't depend on impacting real users.

Conclusion
With the continued growth of global eCommerce shoppers, having a global view of your app's performance is more important than ever. Use the cloud to create geo-realistic load tests and performance monitoring profiles that will give you confidence your users are having a great experience, no matter where they are browsing from.

Finally, get ready - it's going to be a wild holiday shopping season!

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...